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Distribution Milestone

December 15, 2018 | Newsletter

This November, Food Bank of Iowa distributed a record-shattering 1.5 million pounds of food. That’s equal to 9 space shuttles, 150 elephants, or 1,500 grand pianos. That’s a lot of food. But it’s not enough.

Despite smashing our previous record of 1.2 million pounds distributed in one month, we’re still working toward our ultimate goal. In order to ensure that every Iowan we serve has 100 percent of the food they need to thrive, we must distribute 2 million pounds of food each and every month. “While breaking our distribution record might seem like exciting news, my feelings are mixed,” said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa’s president and CEO. “On one hand, this is exactly why we renovated our facility; to move more food. On the other hand, it saddens me that 1.5 million pounds is not enough.”

After completing the Des Moines distribution center overhaul last July, Food Bank staff got to work to increase the amount of food coming in, develop new partnerships, and increase existing partners’ capacity. November’s distribution success shows the progress our team has made, but it has also revealed new challenges.

Now that we have adequate storage for huge amounts of food, we’re moving our focus to infrastructure and transportation. Food is useless on our shelves; we need to get it on our trucks, out to our partners, and finally on our client’s plates.

“I am proud of the community and our team for reaching this milestone, but we can’t stop to celebrate.” said Book. “To fully meet the need, I know we must distribute 2 million pounds of food monthly and we continue to need help to stock our warehouse, fuel our trucks, and run our forklifts.”

Food Bank staff members are reaching out to local transportation experts as we develop a model for sustainable growth. We’re analyzing our fleet of electric pallet jacks and forklifts to determine what equipment the warehouse team needs to work most efficiently. An investment in infrastructure and transportation is an investment in our clients’ future.

“Food insecurity is not a problem with a quick fix,” said Book. “Our role as a food bank is to make available enough food so that every Iowan has adequate, nutritious food to eat — not just once, but every single day, every single meal.”

Danny
Danny Akright |